Center for Energy & Environmental Sustainability (CEES) supports rigorous and expanding program of research and teaching in the areas of renewable energy and environmental sustainability. CEES will focus on innovative technical solutions in the energy arena and will engage Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) students on research questions that lead to science and technological breakthroughs needed to fill critical gaps in the future utilization of environmentally responsible and sustainable energy solutions.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded PVAMU a five-year, $5 million grant to establish the Center for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (CEES) under the Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program.
Dr. Raghava R. Kommalapati, Professor and Interim Department Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering is the Principal Investigator and Director for the center. He works along with the 3 Co-PIs, Dr. Ananda Amarasekhara (Group lead for Biofuels), Dr. Ziaul Huque (Group lead for Wind energy) and Dr. Paul Biney (Technical Coordinator). The Center consists of a diverse team of faculty and research scientists from two colleges (Roy G. Perry College of Engineering and the Brailsford College of Arts & Sciences) and five departments (Chemical, Civil & Environmental, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, and Chemistry and Physics) . The goal of the center is to establish research and education focused on energy engineering. An added goal of the education effort is to significantly increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who earn their B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
The CEES research teams include
The Senior Personnel team closely works with the Post-Doctoral and the student researchers. Subproject research topics include: optimization of biofuels production yields; development of optimization tools and their application to wind turbine research; cogeneration with nuclear plant and wind power as a stable and secure energy supply; life cycle assessment of conventional, nuclear and renewable energy; closing the loop of fossil and nuclear fuel cycles; and fuel cycle analysis of next generation reactors.
The Education and Outreach Team (E&O) consists of Dr. Raghava Kommalapati (integration), Dr. F.M. Nave (University Liaison), and Dr. K.K. Kirby (College of Engineering Liaison) and all the research members also participate in the E&O efforts. The E&O will spearhead a multi-level education and outreach strategy built on the development of an "energy engineering Learning community" at the University. The E&O team will work closely with the research teams to develop an undergraduate minor in Energy Engineering and a master’s degree with an Energy Engineering focus.
CEES scientists and engineers, with involvement of students, will work collaboratively within academic, industry and national laboratory partners on transitional and transformative global energy systems research that addresses national and global challenges of energy and environmental sustainability.